New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that he pardoned seven people under threat of deportation to protect his state’s immigrant communities as President Trump continues to “ramp up deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division.”
“At a time when President Trump and the Federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cuomo said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities. With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand against the hate coming out of Washington and instead serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all,” Cuomo continued.
The New York Democrat issued pardons to seven people in “recognition of their rehabilitative efforts” and to remove barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status, the statement continued.
Among the seven people Cuomo pardoned was Tamar Samuda, a 35-year-old woman who left the United States to travel to Jamaica for a family funeral and upon her return to the country she was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a result of low-level assault convictions from 17 years ago.
Marino Soto, a 43-year-old man from Colombia who has reportedly been “crime-free” for 12 years and owns a software company in Connecticut, was another person named on the list of those pardoned by the governor.
Cuomo has long opposed the president’s immigration policies including the controversial “zero tolerance” policy, which led to the separation of hundreds of migrant families since it was implemented earlier this year.
In June, the New York governor announced that he would not deploy National Guard troops from his state to the U.S.-Mexico border, because of the move.
A day after that announcement, Cuomo also announced that his state will file a “multi-agency lawsuit against the Trump administration for violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border.”